New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate today contested claims made by the Lalit Modi camp that the former IPL boss will be heard before Interpol issues a Red Corner Notice against him, noting the world police body has to honour a non-bailable warrant issued by a court of a sovereign nation.
Sources in the anti-money laundering agency said the Interpol has to honour non-bailable warrants issued by a court of a sovereign nation in connection with commission of an offence that has taken place in that country in contravention of its laws. Modi had on August 12 tweeted an email from Secretary to the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL files, which said the former IPL commissioner will be “granted the opportunity to make submissions” if Interpol received a request for police cooperation with regard to him.
A Mumbai court had last month issued a non-bailable warrant against Modi. ED sources said they have sent the passport details and information about the physical attributes of Modi, who is being probed for alleged money laundering in conduct of the T20 cricket tournament, to Interpol to enable it issue the Red Corner Notice. The information related to his height, complexion and identification mark on his body.
A copy of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) has also been sent to the Interpol headquarters in Lyon. The Interpol had requested the CBI for information in a particular format, which has been sent, the sources said. CBI is the nodal agency for Interpol-related affairs in India. The Red Corner Notice is issued “to seek the location and arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition or similar lawful action” in a criminal case probe.
Once the red corner notice has been issued, the Interpol seeks to arrest the person concerned in any part of the world and notifies that country to take his or her custody for further action. The ED has sought Interpol’s help as domestic legal options available to it for serving its summons to Modi issued under PMLA failed. After his lawyer in Mumbai refused to accept the summons, contending he was not authorised for it, the ED had e-mailed it to the former IPL honcho, who has made London his home, but elicited no response from him.
Sources said the ED is also mulling to seek Modi’s extradition by sending a request to the Ministry of External Affairs through the Home Ministry. The ED is probing Modi, the Indian Premier League (IPL) and its executives for alleged violation of anti-money laundering laws after registering a criminal FIR in 2012. The FIR was filed after the Central agency took cognizance of a cheating complaint filed by former BCCI chief N Srinivasan against Modi and half a dozen others with the Chennai police.
The ED subsequently invoked PMLA along with sections 420 (cheating) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC to probe if BCCI-IPL and the exchequer had been cheated in the award of telecast rights for the T20 tournament in 2009. The case relates to a 2008 deal between World Sports Group (WSG) and Multi Screen Media (MSM) for television rights of Indian Premier League (IPL) worth Rs 425 crore.